Posts Tagged Hilken Mancini

Throwback Thursday: FUZZY interviews [playing WMBR Pipeline! Anniversary show #8]


interviews with Fuzzy in 1996 and 1999 for INSTANT magazine.

Fuzzy 1996

Here’s are a few excerpts from my 1996 interview with singer/guitarist Hilken Mancini:

Amy Steele: What do you think makes the band work?

Hilken Mancini: That we’re friends before anything else and it doesn’t matter much about anything. We like hanging out and writing songs together but when it comes down to it, we’re always gonna make dinner together, maybe barbecue some chicken, drink beer and not really care that much about all the bullshit. I think that being friends before anything else is a really important thing and that we care about each other. I sound all new age now . . .

Amy Steele: Do you all collaborate on all the songs together?

Hilken Mancini: It’s mostly a collaboration but it maybe starts out with Chris or me singing a melody and bringing it to the band and the then the band, meaning, Chris, Winston and I sit around and make a bridge and bring it together.

Amy Steele: Do you remember a turning point that made you want to be in a band?

Hilken Mancini: I just thought it was the coolest thing to be able to write songs and do something like that. If you were 12 years old and someone told you you were going to be traveling all around in a rock band . . . Come on! It’s something you just thought you would never do.

Amy Steele: Do you and Chris feel like you have to break stereotypes?

Hilken Mancini: Not really. I don’t think about being a girl too much. Obviously I do when I’m going on a date. But as far as being on stage, I think that we are being whatever we are and not really trying to make any statements. But I think that it’s great that I know a lot of women who are in bands and can talk about what kind of guitars they like. I think it’s kind of fun and I respect a lot of women that are playing right now.

NOTE: Hilken has been running Girls Rock Band Camp Boston for years now.

Hilken in her band Shepherdess

Hilken in her band Shepherdess

from a 1999 profile:

on lyrics, writing songs:

Chris Toppin: I don’t analyze ideas. I do it subconsciously and it’s almost like therapy. When I look back on it and think that’s what I was thinking, it’s scary.

Hilken Mancini: There is a driving sense that I want to say something or need to do this. I have to explain things to myself through songwriting. We’re coming from a more personal place than before.”

Fuzzy at record release party in 1999

Fuzzy at record release party in 1999

on touring:

Hilken Mancini: The fact that you can write songs and share them with people is great. It’s amazing because that’s something I can do. I like going on tour and figuring out what to wear and what make-up to put on.


on album Hurray for Everything:

Chris Toppin: Hurray for Everything is a documentation of us and how we feel about each other and how we work together. It’s now more rhythm oriented. We have a better idea of what we want to hear.

on the band:

Winston Braman: We try to have a good time and hope it is infectious for the audience. We hope everybody is on the same wavelength and enjoys it. You wan that idea that ‘I want to have what they’re having’ when you see a band.

Hilken Mancini: We’re honest with each other, like friends would be instead of egos butting heads. It is not about anything but maintaining the relationship.

purchase Fuzzy at AMAZON: Electric Juices

Hurray for Everything

FUZZY will be performing at WMBR Pipeline! Anniversary Show #8 at Middle East Downstairs on Friday, October 3.

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music review: Gramercy Arms:


Gramercy Arms sounds like a Melrose Place-like apartment complex, the apartments enclose [or surround or encompass or overlook?] a pool. Sorta motel-style. Everyone hangs out. Gramercy Arms is a revolving NYC-based collective of musicians and artists established by vocalist/ guitarist Dave Derby (Dambuilders) and musicians Kevin March (drums), Rainy Orteca (bass) and Sean Eden (guitar).

In the vibe of Melrose Place, well-known indie artists drop by to create songs with them over the course of five years. The artists include: Lloyd Cole; Matthew Caws [Nada Surf]; Claudia Gonson [Magnetic Fields]; Tanya Donelly [Belly, Throwing Muses]; Hilken Mancini [The Monsieurs, the Count Me Outs, Fuzzy]; Kay Hanley; Peter Hess [TV on the Radio, The Hold Steady]; Verena Wiesendanger [Nous Non Plus, Semi Gloss] and Eleanor Norton [Elton John, Kanye West].

These collaborations resulted in a collection of laid-back, eclectic pop songs. “Winterlight” is a truly upbeat, catchy song. “The Night is Your Only Friend” is bluesy, soulful and piano-tinged [with haunting backing vocals by Kay Hanley]. Strings propel the wistful “Playing with Fire.” and the 70s retro “Yours Truly.” Beautiful, emotional songs with intriguing arrangements. “The Seasons of Love” is a stunning, rich swirly concoction with horns and the muted, gravelly backing vocals of Tanya Donelly, Verena Wiesendanger, Kendall Meade [Helium, Sparklehorse], Hilken Mancini and Sandy Smallens [Too Much Joy]. “Thin,” an exploration on truth and facades, is another masterful track where Derby’s moody vocals mesh exquisitely with the delicate, soothing vocals of Meade and Mancini.

The Seasons of Love
Reveal Records
Out now.

Gramercy Arms facebook

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